Journal Watch

Higher serum testosterone concentration in older women is associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease Patel SM, Ratcliffe SJ, Reilly MP, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2009;94:4776– 84
The clinical relevance of testosterone in women over 65 y is unknown. Pre- and perimenopausal women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. Early postmenopausal women with high testosterone concentrations are more likely to have insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Women (n ¼ 368) were randomly sampled from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). Blood was drawn in the morning after a 12-h fast. Total testosterone was measured by radioimmunoassay and free testosterone concentration by equilibrium dialysis. Age ranged from 65 to 98 y (median 74 y). There was a stepwise increase in homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) with increasing total and free testosterone concentrations with a corresponding decrease in insulin sensitivity. Higher testosterone and free testosterone concentrations were strongly associated with abdominal obesity and high fasting glucose. After adjustment, women in the top quartile of total testosterone had three-fold greater odds of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease than those in the bottom quartile. Higher testosterone concentrations are associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease in older women. There is a need to establish whether testosterone is a marker or mediator of cardiovascular disease. Further studies are required to determine the relationship between testosterone and insulin resistance. study assessed the effect of aromatase inhibition on BMD in older men with lower testosterone concentrations. Men (n ¼ 88) with low or borderline-low testosterone concentration were randomized to receive anastrazole or placebo for 12 months, with reviews at three, six and 12 months. Nineteen subjects dropped out of the study, leaving a study population of 69. Testosterone was measured by radioimmunoassay, bioavailable testosterone by differential precipitation with ammonium sulphate and BMD by DEXA scanning. In the group receiving anastrazole, mean testosterone concentration increased from 11.1 + 3.2 nmol/L at baseline to 18.2 + 4.8 nmol/L at three months. Oestradiol decreased from 55 + 15 to 44 + 15 nmol/L. Spine BMD decreased from 1.12 + 0.14 to 1.10 + 0.14 g/cm2 in the group receiving anastrazole, while it increased in the placebo group from 1.18 + 0.15 to 1.19 + 0.15 g/cm2. Anastrazole increased serum testosterone and modestly reduced oestradiol concentrations while decreasing BMD compared with placebo. Aromatase inhibition does not appear to be an optimal treatment for hypogonadal men and does not improve their skeletal health.

Wycliffe Mbagaya
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK DOI: 10.1258/acb.2010.201007

Serum antimullerian hormone (AMH) levels are elevated in adolescent girls with polycystic ovaries and the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) Hart R, Doherty DA, Norman RJ, et al. Fertil Steril 2010; Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Wycliffe Mbagaya
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK DOI: 10.1258/acb.2010.201006

Effects of aromatase inhibition on bone mineral density and bone turnover in older men with low testosterone levels Burnett-Bowie SM, McKay EA, Lee H, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2009;94:4785– 92
Testosterone and oestradiol are critical for normal bone development and maintenance in men. With ageing, there is a decrease in both androgen and oestrogen concentrations, which is associated with low bone mineral density (BMD). Aromatase inhibitor therapy decreases oestradiol concentration by blocking its conversion from testosterone. This

¨ llerian hormone (AMH) measureRequests for serum antimu ment are increasing. Their main current use is in assisted conception to predict oocyte yield before commencing ovarian stimulation. A less common but diagnostically important use is in paediatric units for the investigation of sexual development disorders. There is limited evidence available to support measurement of AMH in other clinical situations. Hart et al. have carried out a large prospective study investigating the relationship between AMH and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Two recognized diagnostic criteria were used: the Rotterdam definition and the National Institutes of Health. Both require clinical and biochemical androgen investigations along with evidence of oligo/anovulation. However, the Rotterdam definition will also accept ultrasound evidence of polycystic ovaries. Adolescent women (n ¼ 207, median age 15.1 y) underwent numerous investigations including androgen analysis

Annals of Clinical Biochemistry 2010; 47: 284 –285